THE ‘TIME’ COULD BE CHANGED IN SPAIN as the new political parties include the time zone in a new government deal. For over 76 years Spain’s population has been suffering eternal ‘jetlag’ due to the fact that its clocks have been out of sinc with Europe, a fact that the PSOE and Cuidadanos parties have included in the deal with the government. Due to the geographical location, mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands should be included in the same time zone as the Canaries, Portugal, the UK and Ireland and Morocco. And returning the country to the correct hour would help improve the work-life balance, the socialists and Cuidadanos parties have agreed to.

In May 2013, the issue was first raised by the BNG (Galician Nationalist Bloc), and since then they have pointed out, that the difference between sunrise and sunset in the far north-western region and that of the Balearics was as much as an hour – it is still daylight in the Balearics when it has gone in Galicia, which is due north of Portugal.

The Canary Islands are less keen – in fact on radio and TV when presenters announce the time they say “It’s three o’clock and two o’clock in the Canaries.” This means that the Canary Islands’ presence is constantly
recalled, says the independent party Coalicion Canarias. GMT was chosen by Royal decree in July 1900 as the blanket time zone for the whole of Spain and has remained in place until 1922.

The British Royal Navy asked the Spanish authorities 94 years ago what the time was in the Canary Islands, as they should, in theory be an hour behind given the geographical location on the map. At this point, the time zone was altered for the Islands – mainland Spain and the Balearics continued on GMT, but the Canaries were set an hour earlier. This changed in 1940 – one year after the Civil War and one year into the Second World War, General Franco, the Spanish Dictator wanted to synchronise with Berlin and Rome as he was the ally of both Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

The switch might meet with resistance from an unlikely source – the tourist industry. On summer nights, it does not get dark until 9.30/10.00pm which means longer on the beach than if it did at 8.30pm. This also applies to the hot midday sun – whilst British holiday makers rush to ensure they are out of the rays by noon – it is 2.00pm that the rays are at their strongest. With the Greenwich Meridian Line running through Aragon and the Comunidad Valenciana but the country being on Central European Time (CET), the noon sun is actually at 1.00pm in the winter months. And once the British Summer Time (BST) and Central European Summer Time (CEST) are set, after the clocks are put forward, the ‘noon’ sun, is in fact, at 2.00pm in Spain and 1.00pm in the UK.

One very curious fact about living in strange time zones – aside from being one of only two countries in Europe – the other being Portugal – is that the Islands of Ceuta and Melilla which although claimed by the Spanish as owned city-provinces and claimed as territory belonging to them – are off the coast of Morocco and although Morocco is in fact, on GMT these two enclaves are on CET, meaning that, anyone who steps out of the city gates of either Ceuta or Melilla into African territory goes back in time by one hour – Time Travellers indeed!

Fav 0